A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Imagine how dangerous a LOT of knowledge is…
The Doctor’s old friend and fellow Time Lord, Professor Chronotis, has retired to Cambridge University, where among the other doddering old professors nobody will notice if he lives for centuries. He took with him a few little souvenirs—harmless things really. But among them, carelessly, he took The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey. Even more carelessly, he has loaned this immensely powerful book to clueless graduate student Chris Parsons, who intends to use it to impress girls. The Worshipful and Ancient Law is among the most dangerous artifacts in the universe; it cannot be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.
The hands of the sinister Skagra are unquestionably the wrongest ones possible. Skagra is a sadist and an egomaniac bent on universal domination. Having misguessed the state of fashion on Earth, he also wears terrible platform shoes. He is on his way to Cambridge. He wants the book. And he wants the Doctor…
“There’s a lot to like about Roberts’s version of the story, particularly for fervent Doctor Who fans . . . He clearly knows and loves the series, and fills the book with winking references and in-jokes . . . Most importantly, Roberts captures the bantering, cheerful relationship between the eccentric Doctor, upbeat Romana, and loyal K9 as fans will remember it from the TV series.”—The A.V. Club
“Shada is an entertaining read…Roberts manages a zippy, fast-paced writing style that nods to Adams without ever trying to do any Adamsian acrobatics across the page . . . Fans of Douglas Adams will find this probably the most palatable way to sample one of his most famous lost works, and anyone who enjoys both the big heart and the boundless silliness of Doctor Who will be pleased with what Roberts has managed to put together here.”—io9
“Shada is funny . . . Roberts has a turn of phrase that complements Adams’s dialogue, without slavishly copying his style; various witty asides would sit very comfortably in a Hitchhikers novel . . . Roberts both adds his own jokes and works Adams’ perfectly. Any new fan reading the book, having not seen or heard any of the other versions of the story, would have a very hard time picking out which bits were by Roberts and which Adams.”—Doctor Who Reviews
Many of us of a certain age remember exactly where we were when we first read Douglas Adams. I was lying on a couch in my first husband’s apartment, and while reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my face. I think it was the obsequious door that caused the tears—if you read Hitchhiker, you’ll remember the door. And if you laughed at that door, you’ll recognize the voice of the villain Skagra’s spaceship, in Shada, and it will just delight you to hear that voice again. (If you laughed so hard tears ran down your face, you should abandon this website right now and run for a bookstore near you, or the virtual equivalent.) Douglas Adams died too soon; everybody agrees on that. By all accounts he was a wonderful guy as well as one of the funniest writers ever to have a good idea. But Gareth Roberts is a very funny writer too, and he has managed to capture his tone wonderfully, and fill in the gaps in the story that Adams apparently never went back to after a BBC strike made it impossible for this six script story arc of Doctor Who to be filmed. Shada is a really funny book. The Doctor is just right. If you like Doctor Who OR Douglas Adams, and certainly if you like both, you’ll have a great time reading Shada.